CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo

Food and Nutrition

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 3, 2017

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The APHA Food & Nutrition Section (FN) invites abstracts and full session proposals for the 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, which will feature the theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health” and be held November 4 - November 8, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

We will be accepting submissions representing a wide range of nutrition topics (see full listing below) and are also looking for submissions that highlight the intersection of food, nutrition, and climate change in recognition of the 2017 APHA Annual Meeting theme.  We particularly welcome abstracts on research or practice, in the public or  private sector, related to the relationships (in either or both directions) between  climate change (i.e. changing weather patterns; additional information available here: and food systems, agriculture, food production, food security, water availability, food safety, or food consumption patterns.

Plans for the Food and Nutrition (FN) Sessions

  • The FN Section is seeking abstracts and full panel session proposals that highlight research, evidenced-based practice, policies, and theoretical ideas. Abstracts that combine nutrition with other disciplines such as school health, community health, physical activity, maternal and child health, environmental health, transportation, land use, equity and environmental justice, communications, and/or other disciplines are of particular interest.

  • The FN Section seeks both international and domestic representation, with a particular interest in programs and interventions that serve populations most affected by diet-related diseases and that strive to address health equity.

  • Student abstracts are strongly encouraged.  The FN Section will present an award to the highest scoring student abstract at the section awards ceremony in Atlanta, GA. Award recipients must attend the conference, or forfeit their award.

  • The final program will be a mix of 1) poster and oral sessions compiled from individually-contributed abstracts, 2) full panel sessions, fully compiled and coordinated by submitting parties and 3) invited sessions on important topics identified by section leadership.



All persons making a presentation at the Annual Meeting & Exposition must pay a registration fee in order to participate in the program. All persons presenting an abstract must become individual members of APHA and must register for the annual meeting in order to make their presentations. APHA does not pay honoraria or expenses to any presenter.

Presentations may not be submitted to multiple Sections, SPIGs, Caucuses or Forums and may be presented only one time during the Annual Meeting & Expo. The presentation may not be presented or published prior to the APHA Annual Meeting.


Research Presentations

Abstracts describing scientific research should focus on new knowledge in public health nutrition.

Program or Policy Presentations

Program or policy abstracts should describe the application of knowledge to real-world problems or policies. Many times these types of abstracts are referred to as public health in practice.  


  • Individual abstract contributions are welcome. Program planners will combine accepted individual abstracts into 90 minute oral sessions (4-5 individual abstracts of 15-20 minute oral presentations) and poster sessions (sets of 10 posters organized and presented together within a 60 minute session). Program planners might also elect to organize a 90 minute roundtable session encompassing up to 10 individual abstracts for a topic.

  • Please indicate in your submission the preferred type of presentation (oral only, poster, or no preference).  Your indication of no preference will allow your abstract to be considered for a greater number of session types.

  • Please indicate in the comment box the type of abstract you are submitting (Research/Theoretical Idea, or Program/Policy).

  • Abstract text should be no less than 150 words and no more than 250 words.

  • Include 2-3 measurable objectives with your abstract (see continuing education credit instructions below; although only 1 objective for CE is required the section would like 2-3 objectives).

  • Abstracts should be free of trade and commercial product names including, for example, Wal-Mart, SPSS, Stata, ArcGIS, Food ProcessorSQL, Dun & Bradstreet, and InfoUSA.

  • Persons submitting individual abstracts will be notified by email regarding the status of their submissions by June 1, 2017.

To review examples of accepted abstracts from past meetings, click on the following link:


Persons submitting full session proposals must send a session overview to the FN Section Program Planning Chair AND submit all individual abstracts for each speaker online by above mentioned deadline.

Proposals for full panel sessions are welcome. Full panel sessions are comprised of invited speakers who will address different aspects of the same topic of interest or a set of closely related topics. They generally include a session introduction by a moderator, 3-4 key presenters, and a discussant.

  • All proposals should contain an overview document (should not exceed two pages, single-spaced) with the following information in the order listed below:

  1. Session organizer’s name, affiliation, complete mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers (on top of page 1);

  2. Brief overview including the title, relevance (purpose and importance) of the proposed session;

  3. Two to three learning objectives for the session (see continuing education credit instructions below);

  4. List of proposed invited speakers (including any discussant or presiding individual), their affiliations and proposed presentation topics, and individual abstract submission numbers. DO NOT SUBMIT INDIVIDUAL ABSTRACT TEXT.

  5. Session Timeline/Agenda: Detailed schedule for an hour and a half session. Please list the start and end time for each moderator, presenter, and discussant, the presenter’s name (underlined) and all other authors and 1-3 sentences on the goal of the specific presentation. Please begin the session timeline at 0:00 hrs and end it at 1:30. Presentations may be up to 30 minutes in length.

Due to the large number of abstracts the FN section receives each year, failure to follow this format and adhere to the 2 page maximum will result in your proposal not being considered for inclusion in the program.

  • The overview document for all full panel session proposals - as outlined above - must be submitted by email to the FN Program Chair by the abstract submission deadline.  The overview documents are not submitted through the online system. See below for email address.

  • In addition to the proposal overview document, a complete abstract for each proposed presentation will need to be submitted online via the contributed abstracts system by March 3rd.  Abstracts are not required for the session introduction or discussion. Each abstract must follow the format guidelines for individually contributed abstracts and include 2-3 measurable learning objectives (see continuing education credit instructions below).

  • When invited speakers/panelists for full panel sessions submit their abstracts online, they should write in the comment box "I am an invited panel member." Once the panelist receives his/her abstract number, he/she must send it to the session organizer who is in turn responsible for sending all abstract numbers to the FN Section Program Planning Chair. This ensures that all panelists in the full/invited session are placed together.

  • If a full panel session is not accepted as proposed, the individual abstracts for the session submitted online will still be considered for the program (if the speakers would like) and may be assigned to the session(s) in which they fit best.

  • We encourage full panel sessions to allow time for discussion and questions from the audience. In the past, point/counterpoint and panel discussions that engage the audience have been well received. This format should be highlighted in the submission text and timeline.

  • If the session will include the release of any new reports or data, this should be mentioned in the proposal, along with any plans to promote the session to news media.

  • All sessions will be reviewed by the FN Section Program Planning Committee. Acceptance notices will be sent to full session organizers no later than June 1, 2017. Please consider that proposals are competitive. If accepted, organizers and presenters will be requested to complete a conflict of interest disclosure.

Full panel session overviews should be sent to:

Maya Maroto, EdD, MPH, RD

2017 Food & Nutrition Section Program Chair



All applicants are encouraged to consider an abstract’s relevance to the 2017 Annual Meeting theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.”  Individual abstracts should be submitted to one of the topics listed below. Please note that these topics are used for sorting purposes only. While we would like you to select and submit under the category that best represents the focus of your abstract, abstracts will not be evaluated based on their ability to fit within a given topical area.

  • Collective Impact Efforts for Food and Nutrition
    Including, but not limited to: Collaborative models demonstrating collective impact in the area of food and nutrition (common agenda, shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and backbone organization); Community coalitions addressing obesity, hunger, health equity; food policy councils.
  • Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health (Annual Meeting Theme)
    Intersection of climate change with food systems, agriculture, food production, food security, water availability, food safety, or food consumption patterns.
  • Engaging communities in research and program/policy design and implementation
    Including, but not limited to: Community based and participatory action research; Youth engagement in program and policy development; Community organizing around food and nutrition-related issues, Research translation.
  • Ensuring Access to Healthy Food Where we Live, Learn, Work, Pray, and Play
    Including, but not limited to: Education and policies addressing nutrition and physical activity in a variety of settings including homes, school and after school, child care, worksites, faith based communities, etc.; Farm to Institution; Community Partnerships; Evaluation/Measurement strategies;  Implementation of nutrition guidelines; innovations that promote health and prevent disease.
  • Food & Built Environment
    Including, but not limited to: Policy, systems, and environmental changes to prevent obesity or impact other public health concerns; Obesity as an environmental health issue; Built environment influencing healthy food and physical activity opportunities; Innovations in healthy food retail; Evaluation/measurement of the food environment (e.g. environmental audits, GIS, etc.); Disparities in local food environment and strategies to increasing access to healthy, affordable foods; Influence of the food environment on diet; Transportation policy as it relates to food accessibility.
  • Food Marketing
    Including, but not limited to: Labeling (menu, front of package, health claims); Food and beverage marketing in various venues (i.e. schools, restaurants, stores/retail settings, etc.); Food prices; Product placement; Advertising; Point-of-purchase prompts.
  • Food Systems and Food Safety
    Including, but not limited to: Local, regional, national and/or global systems; Agriculture and sustainable food production; Land use and planning to support local and regional food systems; Climate change; Food security and food sovereignty; Safe food handling practices; Consumer food safety; Food safety policies; foodborne illness.
  • Food and Nutrition from a Global Perspective
    Including, but not limited to: Global and domestic issues around food access, sovereignty and the right to safe and healthy foods; Access to cultural foods; Preserving culinary/dietary traditions; Impact of immigration patterns on diet; Interventions.
  • Implementation of National Nutrition Recommendations/Standards and Health Policy in Communities
    Including, but not limited to: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, Let’s Move, Healthy People 2020, National Prevention Strategy, Affordable Care Act; National non-profit organizations (e.g. American Heart Association, American Cancer Society); Including consideration for sustainability aspects of national nutrition recommendations and standards; Establishing a science basis for supporting recommendations; Data to support implementation and evaluation of large scale initiatives.
  • Innovative Technology in Food and Nutrition
    Including, but not limited to: Use and impact of innovative technology on nutrition programming, measurement, and behaviors/outcomes; Use of innovative technology in tracking and self-management of diet and physical activity behaviors.
  • Monitoring and evaluation methods for measuring impact and outcomes of nutrition programs and policies
    Including, but not limited to: Research translation for program development; Qualitative and quantitative measurement strategies; Community assessment; Evidence-based practice; use of program planning/evaluation frameworks (examples: RE-AIM, precede/proceed); use of culturally appropriate methodologies when working with ethnic groups or minority/disadvantaged populations.
  • Nutrition Assistance Programs
    Including, but not limited to: Effectiveness of Nutrition Education in SNAP, WIC, School Lunch/Breakfast/Summer Feeding (Team Nutrition), CACFP; SNAP restrictions; SNAP eligibility; incentives to purchase healthier options; emergency food assistance; government nutrition assistance programs for older adults.
  • Nutrition Disparities and Food Insecurity
    Including, but not limited to: Issues addressing age, race, gender, income, literacy, culture, location, and other factors; Disparities in the food environment and/or food chain, such as access to and availability of healthy food (rural and urban); Strategies to address food insecurity, poverty, and obesity.
  • Nutrition Epidemiology
    Including, but not limited to: Best practices in dietary assessment and surveillance; Population health and nutrient intake; Links between dietary behaviors and health outcomes.
  • Nutrition Messaging and Communications
    Including, but not limited to: Framing nutrition messages; Nutrition and health literacy; Social marketing approaches; Innovative communication strategies; Social media.
  • Nutrition Through the Lifespan
    Including, but not limited to: Nutrition education across the lifespan; Maternal and neonatal nutrition; Policies and programs that support breastfeeding; infant and young child feeding; Programs and policies developed under lifecourse framework; Cultural and family influences on nutrition and dietary practices of young and school-age children and adolescents; Dietary practices and outcomes of young adults; Chronic disease management; Nutrition and physical activity for older adults.

Research Presentations

Abstracts must include the following four elements (please include these section headings in your abstract text):

1) Introduction– purpose and background/context and purpose of topic/issue investigation;

2) Methods –research methodology in terms of data collection and study design;

3) Results – specific study findings. For studies in progress, list results or outcomes that will be presented at APHA; and,

4) Discussion - importance or significance of the findings.

Program or Policy Presentations

Abstracts must include the following four elements (please include these section headings in your abstract text):

1) Introduction –problem statement and background of program, topic, or issue;

2) Approach – program development, implementation, and/or evaluation; strategies/policies to address problem

3) Results – program or policy impact and,

4) Discussion - importance or significance of the program or policy.

All Abstracts will be Evaluated Using the Following Review Criteria

  1. Abstract Content – specific to presenting topic, must be of sound science, evidence-based practice and serve to maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills and competence of the health professional. Content must be objective, free from bias and promotion, no use of commercial entities, products, services, logos, or brand names.

  2. Learning Outcomes – at least one measurable learning outcome that reflects what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in this educational activity (no compound outcomes - list each outcome separately)

  3. GAP addressed – Were gaps addressed?  Was it based on sound science, evidence-based (promising practice) that identified the change in skills, knowledge, and/or the opportunity for improvement?

  4. Competency - Did the abstract address a core competency in public health, nursing, medicine or health education? (Additional information on core competencies located here:

  5. Quality of Written Abstract – Was the abstract coherent? Did the abstract clearly state the purpose and/or relevance?

  6. Relevance to Public Health Nutrition - For example, is this timely from a policy or science perspective? Is there potential for large-scale impact?

  7. Importance of Topic - How important is this topic to the field? Does the research appear to be of high quality? OR, is the policy/program aligned with upcoming policy discourse?

  8. Qualification Statement – Did the presenter clearly describe his/her qualification and areas of expertise? Example: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.

  9. Adherence to instruction for submission and formatting -  NOTE: *Abstracts that do not follow directions will receive lower scores*


APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

1) An abstract that meets the following criteria;

  • Abstract Title - Individual abstract titles cannot be the same as the session title (for full session proposals)

  • Clear Abstract Purpose - The abstract should clearly state the purpose, the relevance, content and evidence based on the needs assessment for the topic

  • No Commercial Entity Names - The abstract must make no mention of commercial entity brand names product or service or promoting a single or specific product or service

2) A learning outcome reflects what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in this educational activity. Each abstract needs at least one measurable SINGLE learning outcome based on the presenter’s abstract:

Use ONLY the following verbs: Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.

Do NOT use “to understand” or “to learn” (as they are not measurable outcomes); and do not submit compound outcomes.  

3) A signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement;

Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement:

Good Example: I am qualified because I have conducted research in the area of maternal and child health for the past 20 years and have given multiple presentations on this subject.

Bad Example: I am qualified because I am a professor at XYZ University.

4) All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional. Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.

Thank you for your assistance in making your session creditworthy. Contact Mighty Fine at  If you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner listed below.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Maya Maroto, EdD, MPH, RD

Vish Vasani, MPH, CHES